No place for Kleyn in Farrell's Ireland squad
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland head coach Andy Farrell named a 42-player training squad to begin preparations for the upcoming warm-up Test matches and the World Cup.
Following the conclusion of the United Rugby Championship and Champions Cup campaigns, the Ireland coaching team have selected an extended panel of players to assemble at the IRFU High Performance Centre on June 18 for the first block of pre-season.
The Ireland squad will train at their Dublin base through June and July ahead of the Warm-up Series which will see Farrell’s side fine-tune their preparations for Rugby World Cup 2023 with home matches against Italy (Saturday, August 5) and England (Saturday, August 19) at Landsdowne Road and a fixture against Samoa at Stade Jean-Dauger in Bayonne (Saturday, August 26)
Farrell has included four uncapped players in his training squad, with Ulster hooker Tom Stewart called up having been part of the extended Ireland squad during the Six Nations campaign, while Leinster backs Ciaran Frawley and Jamie Osborne and Munster wing Calvin Nash are rewarded for their performances for their Provinces this season.
Meanwhile, Munster’s South African-born lock Jean Kleyn has not been included in the squad.
Kleyn has been in good form and he helped Munster win the URC title this season.
Other key Munster players that were not included in the squad are Jeremy Loughman, John Hodnett and Joey Carbery
Ulster’s Robert Baloucoune and Nick Timoney are also not included, while Leinster’s Jordan Larmour and Ross Molony can also feel unlucky.
Commenting on the squad announcement, Farrell said: “It is exciting to announce our extended training squad for the first phase of Rugby World Cup preparations, and we’re looking forward to assembling in Dublin next month to hit the ground running as a group.
“It’s pleasing to see that selection has been as tough as ever, as real quality players have initially been unfortunate to have missed out. I’m sure that camp will be competitive enough as we grow minds and bodies and look to push on with our game from last season.
“In the meantime, it’s important that we freshen up for a busy and exciting summer ahead, so we’re ready to get to work on 18th June and build towards the Nations Series and to France beyond that.”
In addition to the three warm-up matches, the Ireland squad will travel to Portugal for a warm-weather training camp in August, before Farrell’s final 33-player Rugby World Cup squad is announced in late August.
Ireland open their Rugby World Cup campaign against Romania in Bordeaux on September 9, before further Pool B clashes against Tonga (September 16) in Nantes, and South Africa (September 23) and Scotland (October 7) at the Stade de France in Paris.
Ireland Training Squad:
Forwards: Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Joe McCarthy, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Tom Stewart, Kieran Treadwell, Josh van der Flier.
Backs: Bundee Aki, Caolin Blade, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Keith Earls, Ciaran Frawley, Jamison Gibson-Park, Mack Hansen, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Calvin Nash, Jimmy O’Brien, Jamie Osborne, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.